The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) and the Family History Expos Retreats are two examples of more in depth and intensive opportunities to learn about genealogical research than attending a presentation oriented genealogy conference. I can see the value of attending a genealogy conference, especially after attending and presenting at dozens during the past few years. However, the experience I have at a Retreat or Institute type event is much more valuable to my specific research goals.
The main difference is the specificity of the classes and the research assistance offered at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah or at other major genealogical repositories. A Retreat can also be focused on a specific type of research. For example, our Family History Expos Retreat in February, 2015 will be directed at discovering marriage records. I was not teaching at the SLIG Conference in January, but I will be teaching at the Family History Expos Retreat in February. The Retreat is focused on Research at the Family History Library with classroom instruction and lodging at the Crystal Inn Hotel, 230 W. 500 S., Salt Lake City , Utah 84101.
I found in attending the SLIG that the first day I was skeptical about the utility of the classes. By the third day, I was wide awake and learning more than I thought I would be learning. During my time at the Family History Library for the Family History Expos' Retreat, I made some major research breakthroughs. Going to an extended one-week experience is well worth the time and the expense.
At the SLIG, I was attending as a Board Member of the Utah Genealogical Association. At Family History Expos Retreat, I was and will be attending as a presenter.